In this brief polemic, I draw upon two exemplary rhetorical treatises—the pseudo-Ciceronian Rhetorica ad Herennium and Quintilian’s Institutio Oratoria—in order to argue that moral allegory no longer plays and it needs to. Allegory plays in both senses of the term: it plays for the stage as good drama, and it plays in the sense that its authors, producers, directors, and actors had some fun with it. Over time, both senses have been lost in translation. Both can be recovered, however, once we reintegrate a bona fide, mnemotechnically inspired rhetoric of performance into the theory and practice of allegory. The rhetorical and mnemonic conception of allegory as prototheatrical or theatrical practice allows us to recuperate the patently ludic dimensions of allegorical theater and theatrical allegory.


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pp. 447-464
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